Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cheetah Dies at 80

This blog is beginning to resemble the obits--first, Christopher Hitchens, now Cheetah the Ape.  (Who knew apes could live to such a banana-ripe old age?)  Cheetah was part of one of America's greatest mythic inventions, Tarzan of the Apes, from Chicago native Edgar Rice Burroughs.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) - A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee from the Tarzan movies of the 1930s has died at age 80. The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced on its website that Cheetah died on Dec. 24 of kidney failure.  Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb on Wednesday told The Tampa Tribune ( that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She says he seemed to be tuned into human feelings.  Cheetah was the comic relief in the Tarzan series starring American Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. Cobb says Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate sometime around 1960.  Cobb says Cheetah wasn't a troublemaker. Still, sanctuary volunteer Ron Priest says when the chimp didn't like what was going on, he would throw feces.
12/30 UPDATE:  Apparently some have questioned the "80 year old" claim.

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